Install and Set-Up Guide

Posted on Dec 02 2011 by Alistair Barnett in WP-Responsive Tutorials 

It’s not difficult to set up your new theme. Follow this simple guide and you’ll have it knocked out in a snap.

Step 1 – Upload the Theme Files to Your WordPress Site

Option 1: Upload Via WordPress Dashboard

If you are using WordPress 2.8 or above, you can install the theme’s .zip file directly from your WordPress Dashboard. This simplifies things since you don’t need to use FTP:

  1. When viewing the WordPress Dashboard, go to Appearance >> Themes
  2. Click “Install Themes” (big tab at top)
  3. Click “Upload”
  4. Click “Choose File” then navigate to where you downloaded the theme .zip file; click “Open”
  5. Click “Install Now”
  6. When done installing, click “Activate”
  7. That’s it!

Option 2: Upload Via FTP

For this option, you’ll need an FTP (file transfer protocol) program. An FTP program allows you to transfer files between your computer and your web hosting account. There are several available, but I use SmartFTP.

First, you’ll need to unzip the theme folder, which can be done with any standard unzip program. If you don’t have one already installed on your computer, Stuffit Expander is a popular option for PC or MAC users.

You’ll want to upload your theme folder to the /wp-content/themes/ folder in your WordPress installation.

Step 2 – Install and Activate Supported Plugins

This theme has built-in support for several plugins, and all but one of them are optional:

Required for thumbnails and featured content images: Get the Image – This is plugin, created by Justin Tadlock, is necessary if you want to use post thumbnails and and/or the featured content slider.

Optional: WordPress Popular Posts – Your Most Popular Posts will appear in the right sidebar in the tabbed navigation box as seen on this site.

Optional: WP-PageNavi – This is a great little plugin by Lester Chan that will add page numbers in place of the “Older Posts” and “Newer Posts” links at the bottom of your pages.

Optional: Yoast Breadcrumbs – This plugin will place breadcrumb navigation at the top of your pages. Simply activate the plugin, and the breadcrumb will appear automatically.

Step 3 – Visit the Theme Settings Page

After you activate the theme, you should be automatically redirected to this page. If not, the link is available under the Appearance tab. We’ve given you several optional settings for the theme, so feel free to change a few of them, and see what sort of site you can create for yourself.

In particular, you may want to activate the following features:

  • Basic Site Settings
  • Featured Pages
  • Subscription Form and Contact Settings

Step 4 – Add Some Content to Your Sidebars and Footer Widgets

Click the Appearance tab, then Widgets, and place some content in your sidebar and footer (if you’d like to use footer widgets). This is also the page where you can add the “Side Tabs” widget which will display Popular Posts, Recent Posts and Archives. You can also place your Subscribe Box in either your wide sidebar or footer via the Subscribe Box widget (as seen on the right sidebar on this site).

Step 5 – Be Sure to Change Your Permalink Settings

In your WordPress control panel, click Settings >> Permalinks, and change your permalink structure to anything other than the default. This will help the theme run smoother, and it’s much better for search engine optimization.

Step 6 – Custom Menus

In WordPress 3.0 and above you are able to take advantage of the custom menus feature. Here is a short screencast to show you how it works.